The site is a prominent corner in Bondi, moments from Sydney’s most beloved beach.
The highly visible location provides three viewable street frontages to southern, eastern and western faces, in close proximity to private houses and apartments.
The clients ambition for the project was to maximize the potential of the site, providing a comfortable contemporary home for their family of 6.
The house was to be robust - able to withstand the challenges of life with four teenagers, also private, maximizing the potential for daylight penetration, whilst limiting and controlling views in and out.
Planning of the house locates living areas, kitchen and dining spaces at ground level, connected directly to the new garden and pool area. The upper level incorporates 5 bedrooms with three bathrooms. A double height space links the levels with large north facing windows at upper and lower level allowing direct sunlight to permeate directly into the depths of the plan.
On the upper floor, bedrooms are positioned on the southern side of the building. A stepped section raises the southern roof heigh creating a clerestory running east west which provides direct solar penetration for each of the bedrooms.
Responding to the clients brief for privacy, the external appearance is characterised by a veil like screen of reclaimed hardwood - a mixture of species and sizes. Whilst the timber appears perfectly weathered to uniform silver grey, the weathering results from a unique process for pre-aging, developed by the supplier, giving the new house the appearance of structure that has stood for many years.
The screen envelops all visible surfaces of the building. Articulation is provided by fixed and operable glazed openings to each elevation. Appearing initially as solid and impenetrable, under closer inspection, the screened facade reveals layering and depth with di ering glazed, solid surfaces and voids behind providing subtle shifts in transparency and density.
Bringing the monolithic form to life are a series of operable hydraulically operated and side opening screens, which when opened reveal a combination of glazing to east and west windows, and small balcony terraces on the south. The operable screens provide a high degree of privacy to the adjacent rooms, and allow for windows behind to be fully or partially opened for ventilation throughout the day or night.
Internally, the budget was used to create a series of robust simple spaces, flexible for the needs of the growing family. The open plan living room is animated continually by controlled sunlight entering from the double height void above, providing a changing
play of light and shadow throughout the day. Concrete is used for floors throughout the ground level, and for work surfaces and the support structure of the family kitchen. Reclaimed blackbutt adds warmth and is utilised for the stair upper landing and balustrade detailing. Additional joinery elements are finished in polyurethane, or as black stained Huon Pine for feature pieces such as display shelves. The internal spaces therefore form a simple neutral backdrop to the colour, texture and activities of family life.
The Bondi house holistically incorporates sustainable initiatives to create a unique and striking family home.
The dramatic veiled facade utilises pre-aged reclaimed hardwood, allowing the building to appear as a weathered found object, perhaps as if washed up beside the beach after floating at sea for many years. Mixed hardwoods allowed o -cuts and smaller profiles to be used. Reclaimed timber forms part of the material palette elsewhere, which also includes the re-use original sandstone footings throughout the landscaping.
Passive comfort conditioning:
Comfort conditions are maintained passively, with cross ventilation assisted by ceiling fans used for cooling. Hydronic underfloor heating and the thermal mass of the exposed concrete slab assist the strategy.